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About 39.3 million Americans are about to board rafts, planes, trains, and automobiles to travel all over the country this Memorial Day weekend. As inspiration for those without travel plans yet, Lonely Planet’s US experts compiled last-minute weekend getaway ideas based on what they want, whether it's learning something new or reconnecting with family.
1. Work hard, play hard: Denver, CO
The Mile High City’s hiking and mountain biking options are almost endless. Back in town, feast on sustainable ‘field-to-fork’ cuisine, then treat yourself to craft whiskey, or hit the local craft beer circuit with a self-guided tour of breweries.
Alternative: Closer to the East Coast? Try Ithaca, NY
2. Learn something new: Providence, RI
Take a three-day sailing or book a private half- or full-day sailing class. If you’d rather stay on dry land, there’s a three-day cooking course. Or just drop into five-dollar community yoga or running classes.
Alternative: Nowhere near New England? Try Chicago, IL
3. Take a break from tech: Grand Canyon National Park
There’s no reception anywhere beneath the rim, so if you go on a hike or mule ride down into the canyon, you’re instantly off the grid. And if you make the three-hour drive around the canyon’s perimeter to the quiet, remote North Rim, you’re really in for some digital detox. There’s no wi-fi at the elegant Grand Canyon Lodge.
Alternative: On the opposite side of the country? Try the Adirondack Mountains
4. Gear up for summertime: San Diego
Get into a summery state of mind with the wide beaches and laid-back seaside communities of North County. Catch a wave or take an introductory surf lesson in Encinitas, join a pick-up volleyball game in Del Mar, pedal down miles of beach paths on a bike or go for a hike in Torrey Pines.
Alternative: Looking for an East Coast option? Try Miami, FL
5. Reconnect to family: Philadelphia
With kids or parents? There are outdoor activities and festivals for all ages in spring, like at urban beach Spruce Street Harbor Park: bocce and ping pong, children’s activities, live music, an ice cream stand, a floating restaurant and bar, and best of all, dozens of hammocks for anyone who needs a rest.
Alternative: Out west with the family? Try a road-trip to Sedona, AZ